Editor-in-Chief Ken Shapiro with daughter Sally at Club Med Ixtapa Pacific // (c) 2010
As a travel writer and a native of Southern California, I have always loved visiting Mexico. And even though I have traveled extensively there over the years, somehow, I had never made it to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. So, I was especially excited when I got the opportunity to take my 5-year-old daughter Sally on a father/daughter vacation at Club Med Ixtapa Pacific.
This particular Club Med has been open for many years (in fact the mother of one of Sally’s friends went there when she was a child), but it underwent a major renovation a couple years ago and it shows very little sign of age. Our two-bedroom oceanfront Family Suite was modern and comfortable, and was designed to give us plenty of space in case we wanted a bit of privacy. And the special concierge service in the Family Suites was especially outstanding. Another one of the perks of staying in the suites is the use of a canopied daybed right on the beach, and Sally and I loved relaxing there or in one of the shady seaside hammocks nearby.
One of the benefits of staying at any Club Med is the wide range of activities that are available for guests. There is certainly no shortage of activities for kids at Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, including trapeze, circus school, archery, volleyball, soccer, sailing, cooking classes, arts and crafts, table games and more. But sometimes — even with all the bells and whistles available — the best vacation is made up of the simple things, as it was for Sally during our visit. The beach, a swimming pool and the delicious all-you-can-eat ice cream served in the dining room was all she really needed. Of course, she participated in some of the activities at the Mini Club Med, and we especially enjoyed the after-dinner live show in the main theater, which — while probably a bit corny for most adults — was a big hit with the kids.
One of the few improvements that I think Club Med could make at this resort is rethinking the dining options. In particular, at least two of the four restaurants exclusively offer outdoor dining; however, during our April stay, the night was way too buggy for us to be comfortable eating outside. Maybe this depends on the time of year but, essentially, it meant we had no choice but to eat our meals in the main buffet. Luckily, Sally and I both felt there were plenty of options to be had, and the food was outstanding overall.
Unfortunately, it seems like you can’t go to Mexico these days without addressing the issue of security. I’m happy to say that I never once felt worried or concerned about our safety during our trip. The resort itself was completely safe but, even when we went into Zihuatanejo or visited other off-resort attractions, everyone was friendly and welcoming. Only once did I see heavily armed soldiers patrolling a tourist shopping center, but this police presence never felt intrusive to me
Overall, Sally and I had a great trip. I think she summed it up best when, as we were leaving, she turned to me and said, “Daddy, I think I decided where I want to go on my next vacation. Back here.”
Club Med Ixtapa Pacific